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Dr Filippo Boni

Profile summary

Professional biography

Filippo joined the Department of Politics and International Studies as a Lecturer in October 2019. Previously, he taught at the University of Birmingham and at the University of Nottingham, where he completed his PhD in June 2017. Filippo is also a Research Fellow at REDEFINE, a European Research Council funded project looking at China's rise and its implications for global development. He is the co-Editor of the open access, peer-reviewed journal Asia Maior and you can follow him at @FilippoBoni1.

His research interests concern the politics of Chinese investments in Europe and South Asia; China's use of "strategic partnerhsips" in its foreign policy; the international relations of South Asia, with a focus on the bilateral ties between Pakistan and China and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Filippo was an academic consultant on the BAFTA nominated, OU-BBC documentary "Trump Takes on the World"

Research interests

The politics of the Belt and Road Initiative in Europe and South Asia

Filippo is researching the normative, economic, and political dimensions of China's engagement with Europe, with a specific focus on the strategic partnership between Italy and China. You can read Filippo's latest publication on the topic in the British Journal of Politics and International Relations. He is also part of the collaborative network "The politics of Chinese investments in Europe: The end of the Liberal International Economic Order?", which examines the implications of China's inroads in Europe for the international order. Filippo has a forthcoming book chapter on China's normative influence in Europe, in an edited volume (Oxford University Press) on the politics of Chinese investments in Europe. 

With regards to South Asia, he is the author of “Sino-Pakistani Relations. Politics, Military and Regional Dynamics” (Routledge, 2019). He has also co-authored the report "How China and Pakistan negotiate" for Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, as part of the "China Local/Global" project, financed by the Ford Foundation and aimed at producing innovative body of research on Chinese engagement strategies in seven regions of the world. A video summarising the main findings presented in the report is available here. He has published widely on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), including articles in Asian Survey and Asia Policy, and he is currently co-editing a volume on CPEC alongside colleagues in Pakistan and Germany. 

Federalism and civil-military relations in Pakistan

Filippo has co-created with Professor Katharine Adeney (University of Nottingham) the dataset "Provincial Autonomy in Pakistan, 1956-2020", available Open Access through UKRI's data service. This was part of the project "Why De-centralization in federations?", financed by Leverhulme Trust, the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Forum of Federations, among others, and it formed the basis of the article "Federalism and Regime Change: De/Centralization in Pakistan 1956-2020".  

He is also interested in civil-military relations in Pakistan, and building on his previous work on the topic, he is now looking at how Chinese investments in the country are shaped by, and impact on, Pakistan's domestic institutions and hybrid regime more broadly.  

Teaching interests

Filippo has taught in the past both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including "International Relations Theory", "International Relations of the Middle East", "Theories of Global Politics" and "International Politics of East Asia", among others.  

At The Open University, Filippo is the co-chair of D828, the dissertation component (90 credits) of the new MA in International Relations. He also teaches the level 2 module "Understanding politics: ideas and institutions in the modern world" and the level 1 "Global Challenges: Social Science in Action".  

PhD Supervision

Students currently supervised: 

  • Paul Beel - Project Title: "Great Powers, Wars of Choice and Realism: An analysis of the United States' struggle to end intervention".
  • Emma Connolly - Project title: "I can't remember the last time I kissed you: exploring commemorative behavior in the instantaneous aftermath of terror attacks"

Filippo is happy to discuss research proposals on any topic related to:

  • The politics of Belt and Road investments in Europe and South Asia.
  • Democracy and authoritarianism in South Asia.
  • Civil-military relations.
  • China's public diplomacy. 

Impact and engagement

Op-eds/blog posts:

Media Interviews:

  • Regular contributor to "Asiatica" at Radio Radicale, a weekly programme on Asia's current affairs (in Italian). You can watch the latest episodes "Afghanistan: one year under the Taliban" here and "India and Pakistan: what role in Asia, with Russia and the West? here.      

Latest Recorded Invited talks:  

External collaborations

Co-Editor of the journal Asia Maior 

Convenor, Politics of South Asia Specialist Group, Political Studies Association (PSA)

Member of the International Studies Association (ISA) and of the Development Studies Association (DSA).

Publications

Afghanistan 2021: US Withdrawal, the Taliban return and regional geopolitics (2022)
Boni, Filippo
Asia Maior, XXXII (pp. 375-391)


Federalism and regime change: De/centralization in Pakistan – 1956–2020 (2022)
Adeney, Katharine and Boni, Filippo
Regional & Federal Studies ((Early Access))


Strategic partnerships and China’s diplomacy in Europe: Insights from Italy (2022)
Boni, Filippo
British Journal of Politics and International Relations ((Early Access))


Afghanistan 2020: the US-Taliban peace deal, intra-Afghan talks and regional implications (2021)
Boni, Filippo
Asia Maior. The Journal of the Italian Think Tank on Asia founded by Giorgio Borsa in 1989, XXXI (pp. 465-478)


Introduction. Asia in 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact (2021)
Boni, Filippo
Asia Maior, XXXI (pp. 9-17)


The Impact of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor on Pakistan’s Federal System: The Politics of the CPEC (2020-06-01)
Boni, Filippo and Adeney, Katharine
Asian Survey, 60(3) (pp. 441-465)


Afghanistan 2019: Between peace talks and presidential elections, another year of uncertainty (2020)
Boni, Filippo
Asia Maior, XXX / 2019 (pp. 435-449)


Foreword. Asia in 2019: The escalation of the US-China contraposition, and the authoritarian involution of Asian societies (2020)
Torri, Michelgulgielmo; Mocci, Nicola and Boni, Filippo
Asia Maior, XXX (pp. 9-23)


Protecting the Belt and Road Initiative: China’s Cooperation with Pakistan to Secure CPEC (2019-04)
Boni, Filippo
Asia Policy, 14(2) (pp. 5-12)


Afghanistan 2018: Parliamentary Elections and regional power shifts (2019)
Boni, Filippo
Asia Maior, 29 (pp. 377-392)


India at 70: Introduction to the BASAS 2017 Special Issue (2018)
Boni, Filippo and Maiorano, Diego
Contemporary South Asia, 26(3) (pp. 259-262)


Civil-military relations in Pakistan: a case study of Sino-Pakistani relations and the port of Gwadar (2016)
Boni, Filippo
Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, 54(4) (pp. 498-517)


Sino-Pakistani Relations. Politics, Military and Regional Dynamics (2019-08-28)
Boni, Filippo
Routledge Contemporary South Asia
ISBN : 9780429431982 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon


China’s Public Diplomacy and Its Foreign Policy Towards Central and South Asia (2022-06-24)
Burcu, Oana and Boni, Filippo
In: Zhang, Xiaoling and Schultz, Corey eds. China's International Communication and Relationship Building. Communicating China (pp. 79-96)
ISBN : 978-1-032-18357-2 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon


Caught between the United States and China: Critical Junctures in Pakistan’s Foreign Policy (2021-08-31)
Boni, Filippo
In: Pande, Aparna ed. Routledge Handbook on South Asian Foreign Policy (pp. 311-323)
ISBN : 978-0-367-15068-6 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon


Provincial Autonomy in Pakistan, 1956-2020 [Research Dataset] (2022-10-07)
Adeney, Katharine and Boni, Filippo
UK Data Service


The US-China rivalry in South Asia and Pakistan’s hedging dilemma (2021-12-17)
Boni, Filippo
European University Institute


How China and Pakistan Negotiate (2021-05-24)
Adeney, Katharine and Boni, Filippo
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace